Many people make assumptions about sex and disability that are far from accurate. Just because someone has a physical or mental difference, it doesn't make them any less sexual, and it's perfectly possible to have a satisfying sex life regardless. Here are some of the common myths.
- Disabled people aren't sexual. While the media seldom portrays disabled people as being sexual, in reality everyone has the same capacity to feel desire. Don't be afraid to admit your desires: if you need assistance, the right personal assistant / carer will be able to help.
- Disabled people can't use sex toys: There are toys designed to suit people with most disabilities, including ones with larger buttons that are easier to press, long handles and remote controls.
- Disabled people aren't sexy: While judgemental attitudes may make it harder to meet someone, the internet has opened up a wealth of opportunities to connect with people. If someone is put off by your disability, it says more about them than it does about you: and they're clearly not someone who's worth dating.
- Disabilities hamper orgasm: While some conditions may limit ejaculation or climax, there's more than one type of orgasm to be had. Tantric sex can be a great way to explore your climactic potential – and can be equally – if not more – intense than more traditional approaches. Powerful vibrators and electro-stim devices (toys that use electric pulses rather than simply vibration) can help if you have limited sensation too.
- Sex can't be spontaneous if you're disabled: While some disabilities may limit certain sex acts, discussing what is and isn't possible will only lead to a more fulfilling sexual experience. And foreplay isn't always about the body: talking dirty and sharing fantasies can be seriously hot – and best of all, you can do over the phone or online as well as in person.
- Disabled people are too innocent for sex: Some people assume that having sex with someone who is disabled is abusive. In reality, if someone has the mental faculties of an adult, they are perfectly equipped to make adult decisions. As long as sex is safe, sane and consensual, there's nothing to worry about – except society's prejudiced attitudes.
Every disability is different, but there are support networks available that can help deal with the practicalities of your particular disability when it comes to sex. Don't be scared to ask for help if you need it: everyone deserves the chance to enjoy sexual pleasure.
If someone is put off by your disability, it says more about them than it does about you.